Ashmore Group raises dividend despite profit drop

Specialist asset manager Ashmore Group increased its dividend following a 'satisfactory' financial performance for the second half of 2012.

Specialist asset manager Ashmore Group increased its dividend following a 'satisfactory' financial performance for the second half of 2012.

The group raised its dividend 2.3% to 4.35p per share as assets under management increased by 11% to $71.0bn as a result of net inflows and positive investment performance. Continued net inflows climbed 60% to 1.6%.

Basic earnings per share rose from 13.83p in 2011 to 13.92p.

Chief Executive Officer, Mark Coombs, said the company took advantage of emerging markets amid political events, central bank intervention and continued anaemic growth of developed countries.

"Ashmore's experienced investment team has a 20 year track record of investing successfully in these markets, and with a broad and diverse range of themes available to clients the Group is well positioned to benefit from rising demand for the attractive risk-adjusted returns available from emerging market asses," he commented

Despite the raised dividend, the company reported a 7.3% drop in profit before tax of £120.2m and a 10% decrease in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of £114.1m. The EBITDA margin remained unchanged at 70%.

Coombs said heightened volatility resulted in strong investment performance.

"At December 31st 2012, 89% of AuM [assets under management] had outperformed relevant benchmarks over one year and 88% over three years," he said.

Shares fell 1.07% to 360.40p at 09:38 Thursday.

RD

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